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Plutocracy the First Time Around

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Aversion to the new industrial order and a “democratic feeling” in the late 19th century brought workers, storekeepers, lawyers and businessmen of all sorts together, appalled by the behavior of large industrialists who often enough didn’t live in those communities and so were the more easily seen as alien beings.

The Rebirth of Family Capitalism

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This is the indigenous romance of American capitalism: The man from nowhere rises out of obscurity to unimaginable heights through the application of disciplined effort, commercial cunning, and a gambler’s sang froid in the face of the unforgiving riskiness of the marketplace. Conversely, 19th century Gilded Age anti-capitalists knew this dark fairy tale as “the Property Beast.”

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